Friday, August 20, 2010

Waste more, Spend more

It occurs to me as I begin cleaning out the refrigerator for my weekly shopping routine this week, that I throw away a lot of food.  I am always frustrated by the zucchini that was just purchased that seems a little slimy still in it's prepackaged state, or the yogurt that I seemed to have pushed to the back of the fridge when I put the new groceries away.  Even with my strict shopping and meal planning, I still seem to be losing money and obviously still over-buying a bit.  So as I continued to clean out the fridge, I took out a piece of paper and a pen and started to write it all down:

     1 Cantaloupe
     Lg plain yogurt
     1 bag of mixed greens
     1 opened container of pizza sauce
     approx 1/4 lb deli ham
     1 avocado
     2 lemons
     1 bag of radishes
     3 sm containers of mac & cheese

The saddest part is that I have yet to even get to the pantry or the freezer, let alone opened the refrigerator in the garage.  The food that I pulled out of my kitchen refrigerator is estimated at about $13.00 of wasted food that could have been used to pay down my credit card or help with my electric bill; this is only one week of food waste which means that I could be throwing away over $600 a year. 

After doing a little bit of research, I found some tips on food storage that I will begin to implement:
  1. Store vegetables and fruits separately to reduce ethylene gas build up in the refrigerator
  2. Store herbs upright in a glass of water covered with at plastic bag for longest shelf life
  3. While foods like Apples, Cantaloupes, and berries should be stored in the refrigerator, bananas, tomatoes, watermelon, and mangoes should be stored on the counter out of direct sunlight
  4. Store onions, potatoes, and squash in a cool, dry place
  5. It is recommended that berries are stored unwashed and in a single layer (this one seems a little tough for space reasons, so I will simply try to eat my berries more quickly)

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